The Check is in Your Mail
When you use direct mail to get your message across, customers spend more money more often
I don’t know about you, but I run to the mailbox everyday like it’s Christmas. Birthday cards and the arrival of online impulse buys make me absolutely giddy. But, if I’m honest, I dig all the way down to the bottom of the box every time I check the mail. I don’t want to miss anything; even that postcard for a discounted oil change.
On Wednesdays, I open right to the $5 deals in the grocery flyer. Then I skim for plant sales at the hardware store. I keep cutting the coupons for the neighborhood steakhouse, we’ll get there someday!
Did you know that Henry Winkler writes kids books? I read that in the free Costco magazine. And then I bought the whole series for my son. Don’t get me started on the AAA Journey Magazine. I could drool over travel destinations all day. And if a seed catalog shows up? Everyone be quiet, I’m actively spending money.
Why do so many premier brands still send direct mail campaigns, including flyers, coupon packets and catalogs when the world as we know it has gone digital?
Because direct mail works! (Just ask my checking account.) Direct mail engages audiences in a way that email, social and online advertising simply can’t — with a personalized, tactile user experience in our own living rooms.
The vast majority of us are looking for an authentic brand with a spotless reputation and five-star reviews, and email marketing just seems less trustworthy. It feels like an invasion of privacy, frankly, and potentially a virus. Readers also recognize the effort that is put into direct mail, especially when it’s personalized. And direct mail’s response rate is about 10x higher than email, paid search and social media. It simply pays to send your message through the mail.
Did you know? According to a recent DMA survey:
- 59% of U.S. respondents and 65% of Canadian respondents say they “enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”
- 56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing.
- 70% of Americans say mail is more personal than the internet.
- 40% of consumers try new businesses after receiving direct mail.
Now, let’s get serious. You need to track and measure your direct mail campaign’s success.
The best campaign in the world can’t claim that title without data. To unlock your direct mail’s true value, you need to track key performance indicators. (The cool kids say KPIs.) This is the stuff MBAs are made of, but you really need to nerd out on performance metrics to get the biggest value for each dollar you spend on marketing. Deep breaths!
Track your responses. Track your response rate digitally. Use personalized access codes, QR codes, personalized web addresses and phone numbers that identify calls that come from your campaign. Even if I don’t buy stuff this time around, you want to know if you have piqued my interest — acting on this knowledge will increase your chances of conversion (making browsers into buyers) in future campaigns or help you decide how to further personalize.
Measure your conversion rate. Conversion is key. This number represents how many people made a purchase after responding in some way to your direct mail. Track your orders per response through sales but also compare it to conversion rates you are tracking on other types of campaigns such as digital or point-of-sale. Combined digital and direct mail campaigns tend to be the most powerful, so pay attention to how various campaigns are complementing each other.
Monitor your costs. Get a handle on cost per customer and the quality of your mailing list by closely tracking your spending on the campaign and compare it to the number of orders, the size of the orders and overall revenue related to the campaign. Again, compare it to past direct mail or digital and other campaigns. It’s FUN to crunch the numbers when they are in the black, so you’ll be motivated to watch closely and spend wisely.
Printing will be your most significant expense on any direct mail campaign so work with a trusted print partner (the cool kids humbly suggest Lawton Printing Services) to keep costs low while targeting your audience with high quality, persuasive material mailed directly to your customer’s door.